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Can you get workers’ compensation if an injury was your fault?

| Nov 20, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

Whether you fell while working in construction, hurt yourself lifting something in a factory or cut yourself severely while working in a restaurant kitchen, it is possible that you could cause the injury that you suffered on the job.

While what happened at work may not have been intentional, you can’t deny that your own actions were the primary contributing factor to the injury you suffered. You will likely follow the standard procedure for reporting the injury to your employer and then seeking care as necessary.

Do you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits in New York if it’s clear that you were the cause of the injury?

In most cases, you are still eligible for benefits

Making mistakes is part of being human. No matter how competent you are at your job, you’re only one sliced onion or dropped tool away from a severe injury at any given moment. Workers’ compensation insurance protects you not just from issues that are outside of your control but also from the dangers that you accept as part of your job.

Workers’ compensation is similar to no-fault insurance in that it covers you regardless of the blame for the situation that left you injured. Provided that your injury is a result of your work, you typically have the right to get benefits. If your employer tries to claim otherwise, you can still apply for benefits and appeal a denial.

There are situations where you could lose your benefits

In some situations, either your employer or the insurance company could successfully push back against a benefit claim because you are truly responsible for your injury. If there is evidence that you planned to hurt yourself or orchestrated an accident to collect benefits, that would likely result in denial.

The same is true in situations where you engaged in grossly negligent behavior on the job, like playing chicken with forklifts. Finally, if chemical testing at medical facilities indicates that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could also be grounds for the denial of benefits in your case.

If you worry about getting benefits or if you have already received a denial, discussing your situation and needs with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be a good decision.